Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0


By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At St. James' Park



Newcastle United 1 (Cisse 90)

Crystal Palace 0



Papiss Cisse scored an injury-time winner to earn Newcastle United a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in the Barclays Premier League.


The Senegalese front man had seen Eagles' keeper Julian Speroni deny him with three outstanding saves on a frustrating afternoon at St. James' Park. But, deep into three minutes of added-on time, Cisse had the last laugh, heading home substitute Hatem Ben Arfa's right-wing cross.


It was no more than United deserved, having dominated for large spells but struggled to break down a resilient Palace side, backed up by the outstanding Speroni.


Cisse, Cheick Tiote and Yoan Gouffran all saw chances come and go and it looked to be heading for a stalemate until Cisse rose to clinch all three points.


It meant an instant return to winning ways for Newcastle, who have now won three of their last four games.


With just 58 seconds on the clock, Cheick Tiote tried his luck from distance. The midfielder's 25-yard strike took a deflection off a Palace defender but Julian Speroni did well to smother the shot.


Palace replied and Cameron Jerome conncected with Jason Puncheon's right-wing cross but, under pressure, could only head well wide.


But the Magpies were soon back on the front foot and only a superb Speroni save kept out Cisse on 12 minutes.


A patient, passing move eventually saw Vurnon Anita and Luuk de Jong combine to find Cisse on the edge of the area.


The Senegalese striker brilliantly turned away from Adrian Mariappa's tackle, creating space for himself in the process, but saw his shot pushed up into the air by Speroni, with de Jong heading the loose ball over the top.


It took almost another 20 minutes for the next clear-cut chance of the contest; it fell Cisse's way again, and - yet again - he was denied by the heroics of Speroni.


As the hosts broke at pace down the right, Moussa Sissoko carried the ball nearly half the length of the pitch before delivering to Cisse, who took his shot first time, only to see Speroni claw it out of the corner.


Yoan Gouffran then fired straight at the Eagles' stopper while, at the other end, Bolasie cut in from the right to drive inches over the top.


Palace looked bright at the start of the second half, with Krul having to be quick off his line to thwart Kagisho Dikgacoi - his first save of the afternoon - before Bolasie then bent one onto the top of the crossbar.


Just before the hour mark, Hatem Ben Arfa was introduced from the substitutes' bench in place of Luuk de Jong. It was the French forward's first appearance in nearly six weeks and he instantly set about getting on the ball.


But it was Cisse who had United's next chance and - for the third time of the afternoon - he saw his effort kept out by Speroni.


Sissoko slipped a low pass in behind the visitors' defence and the number nine was onto it in a flash, pulling the trigger quickly with his left-foot and seeing Speroni push it up and away to safety.


On 70 minutes Ben Arfa and Cisse combined to create another opening, but the latter could only head narrowly over at the near post, having risen well to meet with the substitute's centre.


Shola Ameobi and Sylvain Marveaux were also introduced with time running out, in a bid to finally make a breakthrough.


Deep into three minutes of stoppage time, Tiote thundered a long-range strike against the crossbar with Speroni finally beaten, but Cisse could not turn the loose ball home from a couple of yards.


It looked as though United would be forced to settle for a point but Cisse had other ideas. Despite being denied all game, the front man never gave up, and when Ben Arfa clipped in a cross, Cisse rose unmarked to glance home an excellent header and send a packed St. James' Park into raptures.



Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Paul Dummett; Moussa Sissoko (Sylvain Marveaux 88), Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran (Shola Ameobi 76); Luuk de Jong (Hatem Ben Arfa 59), Papiss Cisse


Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara, Steven Taylor, Dan Gosling



Crystal Palace (4-5-1): Julian Speroni; Adrian Mariappa, Scott Dann, Damien Delaney, Joel Ward; Yannick Bolasie (Barry Bannan 67), Kagisho Dikgacoi, Mile Jedinak (c), Joe Ledley, Jason Puncheon (Adlene Guedioura 80); Cameron Jerome (Glenn Murray 75)


Subs not used: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Gabbidon, Stuart O'Keefe, Thomas Ince



Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)


Bookings: Newcastle - none; Crystal Palace - Delaney (85)



Attendance: 51,588 (2,550 Crystal Palace)

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